Benjy the gay bull’s saviour and Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon dies

Sam Simon with (inset) Benjy
Sam Simon with (inset) Benjy

Sam Simon, a co-creator of The Simpsons who made a midlife career shift into philanthropy and channelled much of his personal fortune into social causes including animal welfare, has died after a long bout with cancer.

He made the headlines in Ireland recently when he stepped in to save Benjy ‘the gay bull’, who was set to be sent for slaughter after failing to impregnate heifers at a farm in Co Mayo.

Simon died yesterday, his agent Andy Patman said. He was 59.

He was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer in 2011.

After stints writing for Taxi, Cheers and The Tracey Ullman Show, Simon helped launch The Simpsons in 1989.

He left the series after its fourth season under a deal that rewarded him with ongoing royalties from the show, which remains in production.

He established the Sam Simon Foundation, which rescues dogs from animal shelters and trains them to assist the disabled.

He also funded a Los Angeles food bank.